Tunic review: A perfect ‘palate cleanser’ game in a year of huge releases

Did you ever prise open a game box in the backseat of your parents’ car on the way home from a supermarket, carefully slide out the instruction manual, and start reading straight away? Did you ever get the rush of cheap ink and plastic from the game box in your nose as you quickly scoured a booklet, hoping to glean clues about the game or learn something about its characters? Did you ever feel empowered by this – like you’ve learned something profane and secret, that other kids playing might not know?

Well, that feeling – that exact rush of intrigue when you discover a hidden little secret that maybe only you know about – is Tunic. The whole game is brimming with these moments, these hush-hush little nods and suggestions that you, player, have outwitted something and got ahead in the game because of it.

You’re a little fox on an adventure, plonked squarely into the world with minimal context and a brief suggestion as to why you’re trying to gather something that definitely isn’t a Triforce. There’s no tutorial to speak of. No, instead you will find little pages of an instruction manual scattered throughout the world that you piece together out of order. And that’s as much hand-holding as you get. Good.

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